Let’s ponder Jesus for a moment. A good Jewish man, he grew up learning the scriptures and social constructs of his day. He understood who was ‘good’ and who was ‘bad’. All societies have these constructs in which we place social equity on titles. As Jesus is walking along doing his healing and teaching, a part of the anger from his own religious community is that he is not adhering to these ‘good’ and ‘bad’ markers.
For example, to be a leper meant that no one could touch you…you were ‘bad’ or unclean. To be unclean was to be an outcast and at the bottom of the social structure. And yet, Jesus pauses to heal them…by touching them. It is as though their cries touch his soul even as the talking heads are saying ‘No!’ He is living from the heart.
Or, in another instance, it is the Sabbath and the rule is no work in any way. Read Mark 3:1-6. Jesus asks a profound question—“Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” While they sat silent, the unspoken answer was clear—that they would rather someone die than to break the law. They were living out of their heads and not allowing the heart to lead the way. They had made a law that was a gift into a curse and missed the heart of the law. This is the danger of all religiosity—we can miss the heart while we follow the letter of the law. The heart is the lead in the spiritual realm and often comes against the social norms of our day. Do we heal people, love the least, welcome the immigrant, care for the widows, feed that hungry, clothe the naked, etc? Love is not a mere sentiment; it is the action of our lives!